Des Moines NBA D-League Team Becomes Iowa Energy
DES MOINES, Iowa (June 29, 2007) — After weeks of gathering names, media coverage, opinion polls and lots of talk radio discussions, the owners of Iowa’s NBA D-League franchise today unveiled the official team name and logo. The Iowa Energy, illustrated by a colorful purple, orange and red logo, will take to the court on November 29. The NBA granted approval to the name earlier this week.
In introducing the name to fans and the media, Bob Ryan, basketball hall of famer, sports writer for the Boston Globe and popular ESPN commentator, spoke about the team, the league and the name.
In early June, owners, coaches and managers for the team decided to go to the public to find a name. A series of live broadcasts on KXNO radio invited submissions from basketball fans from across the state, and talk show hosts Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller discussed the merits of hundreds of different names.
“It’s been an interesting, collaborative and sometimes entertainingly controversial process,” said Jerry Crawford, co-founder and investor in the new team. “We have listened to the opinions of Iowa basketball fans, and they have been inspired. They loved the new energy in downtown Des Moines. We also know that energy is part of Iowa’s future. The state that fed the nation in the last century will feed and fuel the world in the 21st century.”
The “Energy” logo captures the excitement that this new NBA team will bring to Iowa and Downtown Des Moines with bright, vibrant colors and a sense of power and forward motion. Tony Neary of Traction in Cincinnati, Ohio, designed the logo.
“I think ‘Energy’ is by far the most appropriate of the hundreds of names submitted for the team,” Tirrell said. “I believe Iowa is going to have a love affair with this basketball franchise and organization because it truly represents what Iowa stands for, and that’s great team work.” Nick Nurse, head coach of the Iowa Energy, said the name strikes a chord with fans.
"We plan to put a team on the floor that plays with as much energy as the names suggests,” he said. “We thank all of the fans, members of the media, the NBA, KXNO, the owners and everyone else who participated in this process for all of the great feedback, discussion, interaction and fun. It was great to see such enthusiasm and energy at play.”
The Iowa NBA D-League expansion team was announced on February 27, 2007, at Wells Fargo Arena. The local investors include Jerry Crawford, Gary Kirke, Paul Drey, Sheldon Ohringer, Michael Richards and Bruce Rastetter.
The D-League currently consists of 15 teams including the Albuquerque Thunderbirds (N.M.), Anaheim Arsenal (Calif.), Arkansas RimRockers (Little Rock), Austin Toros (Texas), Bakersfield Jam (Calif.), Colorado 14ers (Broomfield), Dakota Wizards (Bismarck, N.D.), Fort Worth Flyers (Texas), Idaho Stampede (Boise), Los Angeles D-Fenders (Calif.), Sioux Falls Skyforce (S.D.) and Tulsa 66ers (Okla.).
The D-League continues to develop talent from across all disciplines for the NBA’s 30 teams and the entire NBA umbrella. In addition to the assignment of 20 NBA players to D-League affiliates this season, there have been 11 GATORADE Call-Ups from the D-League to the NBA. Additionally, every referee hired by the NBA since 2002 has worked in the D-League, while coaches, athletic trainers and front office executives are also being developed.